2020 has been by far the most challenging year of recent times, however we are extremely proud of our network who have adapted and overcome these challenges working tirelessly to serve their local communities.
EFL Clubs and their respective Club Community Organisations (CCOs) have always been, and remain, at the heart of their communities, and their importance to the daily lives of so many people cannot be underestimated. That has been reflected in the outstanding collective efforts that have been made in supporting the response to coronavirus so far.
In the midst of the unprecedented and, quite clearly, challenging set of circumstances brought about by the outbreak of COVID-19, Clubs came together to collectively show that even when there are no fixtures, Football remains at the heart of the community and never went away.
With 36.6million people in England and Wales living within a 10-mile radius of an EFL Club – a radius that encompasses four in 10 residents who fall into the most-deprived population groups – never has this work been more important.
During the original and subsequent lock down periods, Club Community Organisations were quick to co-ordinate activities with their local authorities, with vulnerable community members and safety at the forefront of their thinking and response.
Over 690, 000 food parcels and hot meals have been delivered across the network.
As one-to-one contact moved online or to via telephone and as local authorities turned to CCOs for support, over 246,000 incoming and outgoing calls were made for fans, the elderly or vulnerable by EFL Clubs.
And as the Government called on the public to ease the burden on the National Health Service, at least 30 Clubs opened their doors to key workers, offering space and facilities in stadia for testing and accommodation.
Last week, Burton Albion have again opened their doors for the first round of vaccinations in East Staffordshire, with the same people receiving a second dose in January. In addition, Clubs have delivered over 30,000 items of PPE equipment and over 6,000 prescriptions.
In the absence of fixtures and training sessions, football’s players put their role-model status to good use, and made an incredible impact in their respective local communities. Instead of delivering goals, some delivered food parcels, while others made vital phone calls instead of tackles, all for the benefit of those most vulnerable members of society.
The adaptation of our CCOs has been phenomenal and will continue to evolve to meet the needs of our EFL communities. From the outset of our response, the safety of our communities and our Clubs has remained paramount and adherence to Government advice has been at the heart of our delivery.
EFL Clubs and CCOs are delivering outstanding work across the country every hour of every day and will continue to do so as we move into 2021.